NUMSA commemorates the 100 year anniversary of the Russian Revolution

Workers at Venkpac on strike

19 October 2017, Posted in Press Releases

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) can confirm that workers at Venpac Plastics in Verulam in Kwa-Zulu Natal are on strike to protest against shocking working conditions at the plant.

At least 150 workers have been on strike at the firm for the last two weeks to raise the following burning issues:
1. Workers claim that some managers have physically assaulted them
2. Female workers claim that some managers force them to have sex in exchange for jobs
3. Workers have alleged that managers are racists and that African workers are discriminated against by their Indian counterparts
4. Poor working conditions

NUMSA is shocked by the treatment of workers at this firm. We condemn Venpac management for this gross abuse of human rights. Workers at Venpac have also alleged that when they tried to report these issues to the South African Police Services (SAPS), the officers urged them to withdraw their cases.

It is outrageous that a company like Venpac should even be allowed to trade given the level of abuse that workers claim they have been exposed to. Unfortunately, this is a consequence of the Capitalist system which allows companies like Venpac to exploit workers in such a horrific manner. We have always consistently raised the issue of how Capital in South Africa is allowed to run rampant, in spite of the existence of labour laws. We are not surprised by the way workers are treated because in this country, employers act with impunity.

They hide behind the values of right wing, racist institutions like the Free Market Foundation who believe in the super exploitation of African workers, which is why they are constantly calling for the system to be deregulated, and for labour laws to be relaxed. The labour laws are manipulated or simply ignored by the majority of companies in order to justify dehumanizing treatment against employees.

Workers complain that even though they have lodged complaints with the Labour Department in the region, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
NUMSA will pressurize the Labour Department to intervene and to send inspectors to the company so they can hear first-hand how workers are suffering. NUMSA will also be engaging workers to ensure that their rights are properly secured while they embark on this just strike, because they are not organized.

We salute the workers at Venpac for standing up against tyranny in the workplace. They are militant and they are willing to give up their meagre wages in order to improve their basic working conditions for themselves, and their families.

Aluta continua!
The struggle continues!
Issued by Phakamile Hlubi
NUMSA National Spokesperson (Acting)
0711352740 or 0833767725